Wednesday, November 10, 2010

O.K. that was really disappointing

Wow...that's all I have to say.

So I went on the Universal Studios Tour today. The one that was suppose to be a V.I.P. event for "Back to the Future" fans highlighted by a stop at Courthouse Square on the backlot, the location of Hill Valley and the Clock Tower in the movie.

Guess what? We didn't even come close to driving by it! Probably within two blocks tops. What a MAJOR letdown!

Turns out they were building sets for "Spider-Man 4". Why they were doing that on the Universal lot when the film is a Sony production, I don't know. The point is that so many people paid between $75 and $100 to go on this tour, quite a number coming from overseas just to see the beloved location where our favorite movie was filmed.

There were some moments on the tram, as we arrived at various other attractions like King Kong 360 3D and Jaws, where we all felt like our stop at Courthouse Square was going to be something truly special. At the very least an extended layover to take pictures and breathe it all in. Of course my hope was for all of us to actually be able to step off the tram and walk around, if only for a few moments. As we wound our way around the main street backlot, turning sharply back up the hill towards other attractions, we all started to wonder if maybe our extended stop there would be last. But as the tour began to come to a close and we headed back to the parking lot, it became soberingly apparent that we were NOT going to the Clock Tower AT ALL. In that moment you could hear a pin drop on the tram.

As we exited in the parking lot, Ken (the organizer) came over to explain about "Spider-Man 4". We really didn't get any apology for what didn't happen. Then when we went to the bottom of the very, very long escalator to arrive at the prop museum, turns out there were only a handful of screen-used items from "Part II".

At this point people were talking and exchanging frustrations. I'd been talking to two guys from Britain, plus two others who were also editors in LA, when people heard us going on about it. They'd walk up and say 'are you as disappointed as we are that we didn't go to the Clock Tower?' Ultimately the feeling was that this was a blemish on the event.

I certainly am not bashing Ken. He's done an amazing job so far of really wowing the fans. Between the awe-inspiring screening at the Puente Hills Mall on Friday and the incredible locations tour on Sunday, the ball's been hit out of the park a few times. Even though Saturday's Battle of the Bands was less than spectacular, it only felt like a bump on the overall scheme. Today was a definite misfire.

From what I understand his working relationship with Universal has been a bitch, and they didn't seem to want to get involved with the whole thing. Even though their presence would certainly bring more sales for the new Blu-ray and other promotional items that could have been sold. That situation just seems like a major misstep on their part. I'm sure Ken really went to bat to make this happen. But with people paying the big bucks there should have been some definite assurances from the studio that we would IN FACT stop and linger at the Clock Tower, regardless of whatever was going on down there at the time. The surprising thing is that they must have known in the morning that we weren't going to be heading anywhere near there and the fans should have been told just to quell anticipation. No such announcement occurred so everyone's hope's were dashed right at the end.

Hopefully by Friday night, when we attend the Enchantment Under The Sea Gala, there will be some type of acknowledgment for the real disappointment of today. We're all looking forward to that with GREAT anticipation!


At November 10, 2010 at 4:12 PM, Anonymous Allen Pinney said...

Wow - that's terrible! So sorry for all of you! All right, let's go burn down the Spidey-4 sets right now!

At November 10, 2010 at 11:12 PM, Blogger LA Filmcutter said...

I seriously want to burn down somebody's business! In a sense it was kind of like flushing upwards of $100 down the toilet. Yes, it goes to Team Fox and that's great. But ultimately people were paying for something they were robbed of! The whole thing should have been handled MUCH better.


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